Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones

Current Club: Liverpool.

Previous Clubs: N/A.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: N/A.

Trophies Won: FIFA Club World Cup 2020. English Premier League 2019/20. English FA Cup 2022. English League Cup 2022, 2024. Community Shield 2022/23. European Under-21 Championships 2023.

A calm, cultured player with good skill and excellent technique, who also has excellent stamina which was only bettered by James Milner when he was at Liverpool. Jones can beat a man, has a good shot on him, works hard on his game and is well loved by coaches for his effort and willingness to listen to instruction and follow them to the best of his ability. He has also shown that he is capable of playing in numerous different midfield positions, as well as being able to play a wide forward role.

The problem is that all the good is only shown in short periods before he is once again injured, usually for fairly lengthy spells as well. Clearly Jones struggles with confidence as, on return from injury, he takes a long time to get back to good form. It particularly showed at the start of the 2023/24 season, when he came into it on the back of a series of good performances in the European Under-21 Championships in the summer, which England won and Jones picked up the man of the match award in the final.

For a while it looked like this was his moment to finally achieve his potential as he played with confidence, flair and control. Once again, it was short-lived as his injury curse once again hit him hard, just as he was cementing his place in the first choice XI. As usual, he returned from his time out looking a totally different player, devoid of confidence and struggling to cope with the pace of the game.

Unfortunately for Jones, it matters not at all how good he can be when at his best, as he can rarely show his potential due to injuries and lack of confidence. Those injuries are too regular to have him coming back at half the level he should be at, due to his confidence being so lacking. One of those two issues need to be solved for him to even begin to progress, otherwise he is going to end up wasting the talent he has.

Jones' injury problems would not be so much of a problem if he came back immediately playing at a decent level, but he needs a run of games to build up his form. That makes it impossible for the team to rely upon him. He has not even been able to settle into a role within the team due to the disruption. Is he an attacking player or is he a controlling the play type? He certainly has the ability to score goals but he has not scored anything like the amount he should have to make the attacking role ideal for him.

For England Under-21s he excelled in a deep-lying role, more of a playmaker than a defensive midfielder, but that level is a long way off first team football. To play it regularly in the Premier League, Jones will need to work on his reading of the game in order to improve his positional and anticipation. He does not have the pace to make up for being constantly caught chasing the play, like often happens when the opposition attack.

Having played mainly in attack as a youngster, it is clear that he has a lot to learn regarding the defensive side of the game, whether in a deep-lying role or more attacking midfield role. Added to his lack of physicality, he is not the quickest, strongest or particularly good in the air, he is unlikely to ever morph into a destructive defensive midfielder, which means Jones needs to be playing at a good level, something near his best if he is to affect the play positively.

Otherwise you just have a player who plays is safe constantly, not making use of his skill to protect the ball and beat players, particularly on the turn, or to pick the incisive pass or shot that he is capable of. Far too often Jones is guilty of taking the extra unnecessary touch when a pass or shot is on, again due to his lack of confidence making him want to be sure before doing something. His lack of decisiveness is holding him back massively. It would be far better to just play and get it wrong, then hold your hand up and apologise to your teammates than just play the sideways ball once more because you were not willing to take the risk to make the difficult choice.

How much that will be changed by the new coaching set up at Liverpool could decide how his career goes. Over the last few years, with Pep Lijnders taking more control of tactics and style of play, players were encouraged to play controlling football over attacking football. That will have certainly contributed to Jones' choices, to his dithering when a moment presented itself as his natural attacking inclinations warred with the tactical instructions imparted to him all week in training. A bit more freedom could be what Jones needs to finally achieve his potential.

Requested by - Livebird31, MIZER